Issue: 253

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COLLEGE NEWS
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SUMMER PROGRAM GIVES STUDENTS EXPERIENCE IN BIOINFORMATICS
Ten students from across the country are in the midst of Iowa State’s Summer Institute in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. The institute is one of nine similar programs supported jointly by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The purpose of the programs is to provide students majoring in the biological sciences, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and physical sciences with interdisciplinary bioengineering or bioinformatics research and education experiences. The program began June 1 with a two-week short course in bioinformatics and computational biology and is followed by an eight-week summer internship, during which the fellows will work with individual ISU faculty and their groups on specialized research projects. The program is a joint effort by the faculty of the ISU graduate program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and is administered by the L. H. Baker Center for Bioinformatics and Biological Statistics. More at: http://www.bioinformatics.iastate.edu/BBSI/

PLANT PATHOLOGISTS PEN POPULAR PAPERS
Two plant pathology faculty members recently got word that articles they had published in Molecular Plant Pathology were among the most accessed papers last year. Allen Miller was lead author on the article “Barley yellow dwarf virus: Luteoviridae or Tombusviridae?” published July 2002 that was one of the top 20 most accessed papers. Adam Bogdanove’s paper “Pto update: recent progress on an ancient plant defense response signalling pathway” also published July 2002 was in the top 10 articles.

LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS NEED TO PREPARE FOR LABEL RULES
The Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program law won’t go into effect for at least 15 months, but livestock producers need to take action now to prepare. That was the message presented at a recent satellite program that originated on the Iowa State University campus. Learn more in “Agriculture in Action” at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/agaction/agaction.php?date=2003-06-19&f...

IOWA STATE'S PLANT SCIENCES INSTITUTE AWARDS START-UP FUNDS
Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute has awarded six promising research projects with start-up funds. The two-year grants were awarded to Iowa State faculty through a competitive program intended to stimulate excellence in plant science research. Several of the award recipients are within the ISU College of Agriculture. Details:
http://www.iastate.edu/%7enscentral/releases/2003/jun/psigrants.shtml

MODEST GAINS FOR CASH RENTAL RATES OF IOWA FARM LAND
Average cash rental rates in Iowa increased modestly over the last year, according to results from an annual survey by ISU Extension. Forty percent of Iowa's cropland is rented under cash rent lease agreements. Details: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2003/jun03/jun0317.html

ISU EXTENSION POSITIONS ITSELF FOR A SECOND CENTURY OF SERVICE
ISU Extension can be a leader for the emerging knowledge-based society. This is both a conclusion and a challenge in a recent report submitted to Stanley R. Johnson, Iowa State University's vice provost for Extension. Johnson said the report from a 19-member task force will help form the basis for changes as the organization begins its second century of service to Iowans. Learn more: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2003/jun03/jun0320.html

ORGANIC CROP RESEARCH RESULTS
This is the sixth crop season Iowa State University researchers are comparing the yields of organic and conventional crop production. The results of the economic returns from 1999 to 2001 were published in a recent edition of the American Journal of Alternative Agriculture. In the study led by Kathleen Delate, assistant professor, agronomy and horticulture, identical hybrid varieties of corn and soybeans are being grown using conventional and organic methods. Details: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2003/jun03/jun0323.html

CHINA AND UKRAINE MAY AFFECT SUMMER CROP MARKETS
Wheat production in the Ukraine is projected to be down 65 percent from last year, along with a modest decline in Chinese corn production. Robert Wisner, ISU economist, said crops in these two countries are major competitors with U.S. grain. Weather during their growing seasons may be a key influence on summer and fall corn prices, especially in light of historically low world grain reserve supplies. Learn more: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2003/jun03/jun0316.html

DEADLINES AND REMINDERS
June 24-26: 4-H Youth Conference, more at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/2003/apr03/apr0308.html
June 24: Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm field day, 1:30 p.m., near Nashua
June 25: Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm field day, 9 a.m., near Sutherland
June 26: Northern Research and Demonstration Farm field day, 9:30 a.m., near Kanawha
June 26: Dairy Teaching Research and Demonstration Farm specialty field day on compost and filter strips, 3:30 p.m., Ames
June 30: Deadline for applications to the National Research Initiative 2003 Supplemental, Integrated Program, http://www.reeusda.gov/1700/funding/rfanri_integrated_program_03.htm
July 8: Lauren L. Christian Pork Chop Open, 10 a.m. shotgun start, Veenker Memorial Golf Course; 4 p.m. reception, 5 p.m. dinner with a program, awards and a fund-raising auction following, registration form at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ipic/events/LCPCO703.pdf
July 8: Northern Research and Demonstration Farm specialty field day on weeds, 6:30 p.m., Kanawha
Aug. 16: Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm specialty field day on grapes, 8:30 a.m., near Nashua

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COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK
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MAKING MEETINGS MORE MANAGEABLE
Productive meetings don’t waste the time of the participants. Here are some strategies to make meetings more effective.
-Don't always have a meeting. Before calling a meeting, ask, "What is the point?"
-Don't discuss. Productive meetings depend on clearly defined objectives toward which people can work and measure progress.
-Spend time to save time. Spend 30 to 60 minutes preparing for meetings you are responsible for organizing and/or leading.
-Declare a meeting-free day. Some organizations schedule "stand-ups" -- brief huddles where participants work through lean-mean agendas in rapid-fire fashion, standing up all the while.
From "How to Make Every Meeting Matter," Harvard Management Communication Letter, May 2003.

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INFOGRAZING
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TRAVEL FELLOWSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS
The Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development (OECD) sponsors travel fellowships between member countries. Fellowships are awarded under the Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems program. The OECD sponsors travel fellowships for Ph.D. scientists (or equivalent) who have a permanent position or similar post in a home laboratory to return to after the fellowship (i.e., this is not a post-doc program). The program is intended for young scientists. Application information: http://www.oecd.org/doc/M00041000/M00041733.doc

GROUP TO ISSUE REPORT ON TEACHING SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainability should be viewed as an approach to understanding that is integrated across the curriculum, including formal education in elementary and secondary schools and colleges, according to a report to be released Thursday, June 26, by the National Council for Science and the Environment. “Recommendations for Education for a Sustainable and Secure Future” presents a national agenda for education that links sustainability and security, based on the recommendations of more than 800 educators, scientists, decision makers and other citizens at the Third National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment held earlier this year. An electronic version of the report will be available on June 26 at: http://www.ncseonline.org.

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EXTERNAL VOICES
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THE DISCOVERIES OF DISORDER
"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."
--A.A. Milne, British author

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MARGINALIA
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LIVESTOCK GAS TAXED AND RESEARCHED
New Zealand's farmers have opposed a proposed tax on the flatulence emitted by their sheep and cattle in a move by the government to comply with the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Scientists estimate that methane emitted by farm animals is responsible for more than half of the country's greenhouse gases, the BBC reported (June 20). The proposed flatulence tax is expected to raise $8.4 million (in New Zealand currency) a year. The money is be used to fund research on agricultural emissions. Meanwhile, a team of researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported they have a solution to the gas problem in cattle. The team has designed chemical compounds that block methane production, turning the microbes involved in the digestive process in one of a cow’s four stomachs towards the production of nutrients rather than gas, as reported by The Scotsman (June 18).

Next issue: June 30

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AG ONLINE
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EDITORS
Ed Adcock, edadcock@iastate.edu, and Brian Meyer, bmeyer@iastate.edu
Phone: (515) 294-5616 Web site: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/

SUBSCRIBE
Ag Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture, is e-mailed every Monday. To subscribe, send your name, e-mail address and the message "Ag Online subscribe" to edadcock@iastate.edu. To unsubscribe, send "Ag Online unsubscribe."

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, disability or status as a U.S. Vietnam Era Veteran. Any persons having inquiries concerning this may contact the Director of Affirmative Action, 1031 Wallace Road Office Building, Room 101, (515) 294-7612.

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